U.S. Patent no. 9,656,167: Pre-play and post-play video game character presentation and equipping
Issued May 23, 2017 to Activision Publishing, Inc.
Priority Date: March 15, 2013
This patent concerns the equipping of video game characters. In many games, a player may control a character who may be equipped with items, whether for use in the game or merely for aesthetic purposes. Some games may allow for personalization of equipping characters. The equipping may relate to clothing or accessories, whether functional or for aesthetic purposes, or accessories.
Traditionally, video games were monetized through game sales. These transactions were typically one-time transactions. More recently, new monetization models have developed. For example, some sellers are now monetizing video games through multiple, small, in-game transactions called microtransactions. Players may obtain the personalization described above through microtransactions, for free, or through a combination of the two. Developers have been trying to solve the problem of how to add microtransactions to their games in a less intrusive manner. Another problem with game equipment is some equipment may be appropriate for some worlds but not others. In multi-player games, some personalization may be more desirable than others depending on the equipment of opponents or teammates. The optimal equipment of a video game character may not be known until the game begins.
This patent describes a system for providing recommendations on equipment suitable for a game character. The recommendation is based on several factors like the visual characteristics of the virtual world. The game would give players the option to change equipment before gameplay starts, usually during a character select screen. During the equipment-select period, players can either purchase the equipment through microtransactions or add it for free depending on the situation. The system will also show how the new equipment affects the team dynamic. The display helps the team know if they have equipped the correct gear before they start their epic battle.
Systems and methods for pre-game and post-game video game character presentation and equipping are disclosed. According to one aspect of the invention, a computer implemented method useful for video game play comprises: determining identities and equipment of at least some game characters for participation in game play; in a time period outside of game play, providing information for rendering the game characters with their equipment in a scene having visual characteristics of a virtual world for game play; providing game players the opportunity to change and/or purchase equipment for their game characters; and providing for game play including the game characters.
1. A system for providing for changes to equipment of a game character prior to play of a video game, comprising:
a plurality of compute devices coupled by a network to a server, the compute devices and server configured to:
prior to commencement of game play including game characters assigned to teams, provide for display of a team of game characters with their equipment in a scene having visual characteristics of a virtual world for game play;
prior to commencement of game play, provide a recommendation for one or more pieces of equipment suitable for a game character, the recommendation being based on the visual characteristics of the virtual world for game play;
provide an option for change of equipment of the team of game characters, the option accessible during display of the team of game characters with their equipment in the scene having visual characteristics of a virtual world for game play prior to commencement of game play;
provide for further display of the team of game characters with their equipment, as changed, in the scene having visual characteristics of a virtual world for game play prior to commencement of game play; and
provide for game play.
Research By: Rachel Johns
Edited By: Andrew Thomas